Under Obama, some conservatives warned of an existential threat to the nation. Now, liberals are using similar language. The concerns are not baseless, some experts say. But intensifying partisanship is a key driver.
Published Feb. 22, 2017
LOS ANGELES — The longer President Trump is in office, the more Cat Deakins worries about the future – for herself and her children.
With every executive order and cabinet appointment, she envisions another scenario: an America that rejects immigrants, that succumbs to climate change, that erupts in war.
“It’s scary to me that [people within the administration] are promoting this idea of, ‘We are at war with Islam.’ That’s the kind of thinking that leads to World War III,” says Ms. Deakins, a cinematographer in Los Angeles. “I don’t think we can be alarmed enough.”
It’s a strain of thought that’s begun to take root in leftist narratives as the Trump administration enters its second month. The idea is that since taking office, the president has led the nation – and continues to lead it – down a path that will culminate in a dictatorship, a police state, or both. As Slate columnist Michelle Goldman writes, “To talk about Trump as a menace to our democratic way of life understates the crisis.”